After having a hot year in 2018, an inferno that was started by the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, Facebook has been making strides (albeit small) to better improve their privacy and how they allow third parties to interact with user data on the platform.
The latest update from the company comes in the change of how users interact with ads. It is widely known that Facebook uses your profile to target you with relevant ads, which increases your chances of interacting with the said ad. However, what might not be known is that the targeting is achieved in various ways, one of them being businesses uploading their hashed customer data (such as emails and phone numbers) to Facebook and then Facebook will try to match this data to existing Facebook profiles.
This uploaded data is known as Custom Audiences and businesses can decide to share their custom audiences with other business on the platform for purposes of targetting you with ads.
The company, through their Advertiser Hub, has announced that it will now be showing users, exactly which business (or advertiser) uploaded their information to the platform.
As from February 27 2019, when users click on the “Why am I seeing this?” section of an ad, Facebook will include information on the name of the business that uploaded their data to Facebook and also indicate whether there this data has been shared with any other advertiser through Custom Audience sharing, as seen below:
This move comes after Facebook made a number of changes to their advertising policies in a move that was meant to better protect user’s data while also remaining transparent to the user on how their data was being used by advertisers across the platform.
Ads remain Facebook’s primary source of income and all these changes suggest that the platform has not yet figured out how to make money beyond ads and thus, the company hopes that creating a transparent experience with ads will regain the user’s trust on the platform.